Latin American banana-producing countries are smelling blood in the long-running World Trade Organisation dispute over European Union protection of Caribbean banana producers, coordinating a demand for “total access” to EU markets.

Panama’s trade minister Alejandro Ferrer said at a meeting of trade and agricultural ministers of Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in the Panamanian capital, that these exporters would “analyse scenarios” and develop “a common position” on the new EU offer of a tariff on Latin American bananas of EUR187 per tonne (US$219) from 1 January 2006, down the EUR230 that was rejected recently by a WTO panel.